Does Boxing Headgear Prevent Concussions and Brain Damage?

Concussions happen as a result of a sharp blow, jolt, or bump to the head. The first solution that comes to our mind is the use of boxing headgear to prevent concussions. So the question is if it helps or not.

It is no surprise that most of us believe that boxing headgear is capable of protecting the head and face against any injuries. Well it was designed for that so what’s the point?

Little do you know, boxing headgear does more harm than good especially in professional boxing. Sure they help in safe guarding the eyes, prevent cuts and bruises but concussions? Well that’s a whole other story.

So let’s get to our main question here and see if a boxing headgear really helps.

Is Headgear Worse in Boxing?

To say the least, boxing headgear is nothing more than a false sense of security. And this false security makes you think that you can take more risks when in reality, you cannot. 

A boxing headgear is more like a magnet for strong hits and blows. But why does that happen?

Makes dodging difficult 

Think of a hard, thickly padded boxing headgear. It will somewhat reduce the impact of heavy punches. Yes. But it will also make it difficult for you to dodge most blows. Boxing headgear makes you more susceptible to a hit which you could’ve avoided easily otherwise.

This happens because a head guard offers a lot more surface area. Consequently, your opponent will have more chances to hit you. The target area increases and so does the amount of poorly dodged blows. And this may result in more head trauma than usual. 

Obscures peripheral vision

Secondly, boxing headgear causes vision impairment. That’s the last thing you would want while boxing. A head guard blocks the peripheral vision which means that you’ll be more vulnerable to punches. 

So you’ll just end up with a lot of punches that could’ve been avoided if your vision was not compromised.

Can you Get a Concussion with a Boxing Headgear?

Yes, you can get a concussion with a headgear. Boxing headgear is mainly designed to protect the face from cuts or bruises. It also greatly prevents bleeding noses or eye injury. But does it help with concussions? Unfortunately, it does not. 

Headgear makes your Head a bigger Target

As mentioned earlier, the head guard makes your head a bigger target. It offers more surface area for contact and so, makes you more susceptible to knockout blows. The thick foam padding also doesn’t prove to be very efficient in eliminating the impact of punches. 

Less Impact but Repeated Blows

Headgear does help with reducing the impact of some blows but simultaneously increases the amount of blows your receive. And that kinda defeats the purpose. 

Less impactful but repeated concussive blows may not immediately result in a concussion but in the long run you’ll definitely see lots of brain trauma. 

Boxing Headgear doesn’t Protect the Jaw

Additionally, a boxing headgear fails to protect the jaw. The jaw area is one of the weakest points when it comes to concussions. A severe hit to the jaw will have a direct impact on your head causing it to whip. And the brain that sits in a jellylike fluid in your head will whip along with it too. That results in major brain trauma and increases the risk of a concussion. 

Lastly, with an impaired vision due to a huge headgear sitting on top of your head, dodging punches will be really hard. It will result in a hell lot of severe blows which multiplies the risk of a concussion.

Why are There no Head Guards in Olympic Boxing?

The use of head guard for male boxers has been discontinued in Olympics Boxing since 2016. This happened because boxing headgears were incapable of solving the problem in any way. 

In fact, according to the International Boxing Association, boxers with headgears experience more head injuries or concussions than those without it. Since the use of boxing headgear was not effective in preventing concussions, the IOC decided to discontinue its use.

And this is the very reason why no head guards were seen even in Olympics Boxing 2021. 

When can I wear a Boxing Headgear?

A boxing headgear is not entirely useless, of course. A boxing headgear is quite effective in 

  • Preventing eye and nose injury
  • Reducing the risk of cuts and bruises
  • Safeguards from surface trauma
  • Thick padding reduces the impact of blows

The use of boxing headgear is only recommended for light sparring or non professional training but it is not preferred for any kind of professional boxing.

A boxing headgear just makes your head a bigger target, provides more surface area for hitting, blocks vision, and makes it harder to dodge heavy blows. And definitely, doesn’t help against concussions.

Final Thoughts 

As far as concussions are concerned, boxing headgear does not help with them in any way. A headgear is mainly designed to prevent skin abrasions, light facial injury or somewhat reduce the impact of punches. But it is not useful in preventing concussions in any way.

Best Boxing Headgear for Nose Protection